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Foreclosing on God’s House

March 13th, 2012 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

Record Number of Church Properties in Foreclosure

On March 9th, Reuter’s Tim Reid discussed a report by CoStar in which they reported that since 2010, 270 churches have been sold after loan defaults, 90% of which came after a lender initiated foreclosure.  Mr. Reid noted that this “…surge in church foreclosures represents a new wave of distressed property seizures…with many banks no longer willing to grant struggling religious organizations forbearance”.  The Reuter’s article went on to cite CoStar’s finding that 138 churches were sold by banks in 2011, a record for a single year.  Mr. Reid noted that there were just 24 such sales in 2008 and “only a handful in the decade before” and that there is “no sign that these religious foreclosures are abating”.

All denominations have reportedly been impacted but the largest number involve small to medium sized houses of worship.  Not surprisingly, a disproportionate number are found in the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis: California, Georgia, Florida and Michigan.  The article noted that many of the mortgages were commercial type loans set to mature after five years with the full balance immediately due.  Many of these loans were made at the market peak in 2005 or 2006 and would have been routinely refinanced in previous times; now, however, the combination of how deeply underwater these properties were along with balance sheet pressure from regulators resulted in a situation all too familiar to millions of single family homeowners.  Mr. Reid noted that many of the loans involved renovating or enlarging church facilities oftentimes with major lenders or institutions such as the Evangelical Christian Credit Union which he notes “…was particularly aggressive in lending to religious institutions”.

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Special Announcement: Appraiser Help Releases Comprehensive Up-To-Date Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies

While most appraisers have had some unpleasant experiences with appraisal management companies, it is clear that consideration must be given as to what role AMCs will play in their overall appraisal practice.

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Department of Justice Files Details of Mortgage Settlement Agreement in Federal Court Yesterday

Yesterday, the federal government and state attorneys general filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia proposed consent judgments with the five big mortgage servicers “…to resolve violations of state and federal law”.  The Justice Department news release noted that this $25 billion settlement involving mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses was “…the largest federal-state civil settlement ever obtained”.  The news release stated that $20 billion would be provided by the servicers to homeowners in various forms of financial relief and $5 billion would be paid to the federal government and state governments.  Links to the Justice Department announcement and a report by CNNMoney’s Jennifer Liberto are found here:
Department of Justice News

Housing Settlement Details Filed in Court

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Appraisers Approaching License Renewal: McKissock’s 7 Hour 2012-2013 USPAP Online Course is Now Available in Most States

McKissock Education, the official provider of the Appraisal Foundation’s online 2012-2013 USPAP courses, is now available in most states.  Last year, the Appraisal Foundation and McKissock announced their partnership and the online course is now available in most states. See if courses are available in your area and save up to 20% on course fees by going to our Online McKissock Portal.


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The Appraisal Profession by the Numbers

How many appraisers are licensed in the United States?

The last time we checked, the Appraisal Subcommittee reported that there were 105,009 appraisers with 36% of them Certified General Appraisers, 51% Certified Residential Appraisers and 13% Licensed Appraisers.  The following link will take you to the most recent report, including state by state breakdowns: Active Appraiser Credentials – ASC – Appraisal Subcommittee

What can we expect in the future? According to AppraisalPort, many are considering leaving the field, a link to their most recent survey is found here: AppraisalPort Survey Results

How many states have enacted AMC (Appraisal Management Company) legislation?

Reports indicate that approximately 30 states have enacted legislation with similar legislation pending in eight others.  Appraisers who would like more information as to legislation in their states can go to AMCRegulations.com for more information, a link to which is found here: Michigan AMC Regulation

How do appraisers view the business environment for themselves this year?

According to a sample of almost 6,000 appraisers taken by AppraisalPort in January, a majority felt that 2012 would be similar to last year or somewhat worse, as indicated in their graphical depiction: AppraisalPort Poll Results

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers build their practices. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we have to offer.

The All New, Fully Revised Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is now available for download! Please visit our website to learn more. Current members of our Appraiser Directories are eligible to receive their copies FREE!


Recent Real Estate Reports

On March 7th, CoreLogic released their January Home Price Index which showed a decline for the sixth consecutive month.  Nationally, prices declined 1.0% from the previous month and 3.1% from one year ago. A link to this report which includes regional breakdowns is found here: CoreLogic January Home Price Index Shows Sixth Consecutive Monthly Decline

One day earlier, Clear Capital released their Home Data Index which also showed year to year declines (-2.0%) with quarterly prices essentially unchanged (-0.6%).  A link to this report is found here: Clear Capital Market Report

On March 7th, CNBC’s Diana Olick discussed the CoreLogic report along with Lender Processing Service’s foreclosure report and a link to this is found here: Parsing Home Prices Proves Precarious – CNBC

On that same day, Bloomberg’s Oshrat Carmiel discussed how the recovery of the commercial market was being led by apartment properties and cited recent studies by Real Capital Analytics, Reis Inc. and the Mortgage Bankers Association.  A link to this report is found here: Recovery of Commercial Property Fueled By Apartments: Mortgages

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was interviewed by HuffPost Business last week and offered help/hope to underwater homeowners with his remarks.  While hedging on predictions as to when the housing market would improve, he suggested that those with underwater mortgages not wait for that day but attempt to refinance now and, if their mortgage is with one of the big five banks involved in the foreclosure settlement, apply for a principal reduction.  A link to this article is found here: Shaun Donovan, Housing Secretary, To Underwater Americans: There’s Help For You

One final report of interest: On March 10th, CNBC’s Mark Koba discussed the possibility that Baby Boomers might “flood the market” with houses in the coming years at the same time the younger generations might not be interested in buying.  A link to this is found here: More Boomers Selling H omes, but Who Will Buy Them? – CNBC

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.


Start saving up to 20% off of your continuing education course fees today with McKissock and Appraiser Help! 2012-2013 USPAP Courses Now Available!


Correction From Last Newsletter

California appraiser John Thermos and Hal A. Coon, MAI, Appraisal Review Specialist for the FDIC in Texas both noted our error in the last newsletter in which we said that a “even a broken clock is correct once per day”.  Unless we are using a 24 hour clock, a broken clock is correct twice per day (which is once or twice more per day than some “economists” we know).

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Stupid AMC Tricks

Just one this week, we don’t want to overdo it:

Pennsylvania appraiser Janet M. Heller received this request:
“Please explain what a 41 handle kitchen is”

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Rates & Dates

Mortgage interest rates mostly declined and remained close to historically low levels in the most recent weekly reports issued by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

On March 8th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 3.88% from 3.90% during the previous week.  They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 4.88%.  The 15-year fixed rate, which they call a “popular choice among refinance borrowers” reached a historically low rate of 3.13%.

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released March 7th for the week ending March 2nd, reported that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) dropped to 4.06% from 4.07% during the previous week.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 4.33% from 4.34%.  At the same time, the average rates for FHA backed mortgages increased to 3.87% from 3.86%.

In their press release of March 7th, the MBA also reported a decrease of 1.2% in mortgage applications during this most recent survey.  Refinance applications declined to 77.0% which they noted was the lowest since last December.  In a separate press release that day, the MBA noted that commercial and multi-family mortgage delinquency rates declined during the last quarter of 2011.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers build their practices. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we have to offer.

The All New, Fully Revised Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is now available for download! Please visit our website to learn more. Current members of our Appraiser Directories are eligible to receive their copies FREE!


Ask Angie

We want to congratulate our most recent winner: Cristal Bell, Appraisal Manager with Premier Appraisal in Tallahassee, Florida. Premier Appraisal covers Leon County and other portions of northern Florida. Cristal was the first to accurately report that the answers to the last contest questions were:  “You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way ” (Lady Gaga); “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity ” (Dorothy Parker); and “When you can’t create you can work ” (Henry Miller).

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: “Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult."

a) Plato
b) Aristotle
c) Hippocrates
d) Ben Flajnik
e) None of the above

2. Who said: “Beware the Ides of March."

a) George Clooney
b) Marisa Tomei
c) Shakespeare
d) Al Gore
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic."

a) George Bernard Shaw
b) C.S. Lewis
c) Adrienne Cook
d) Oscar Wilde
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on AppraiserHelp.com

A Free Copy of the NEWLY RELEASED 2012 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies!

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: bill@appraiserhelp.com with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at www.appraisernews.com

Regards,

Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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